Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get to you by public transport?

    By train – the nearest station is the Reading Main one.  Take the elevator up to the 2nd floor and then take the elevator down to the 1st floor (Footbridge).

    Head south and turn left toward Station Road, slight left onto Station Road.  Then turn left onto Friar Street, right onto Market Place. Continue onto High Street, continue onto Duke Street and finally continue onto London Street.

    By buswww.reading-buses.co.uk

  • Where is your main entrance?

    Our entrance is situated around the back on Church Street.  From London Street door please walk down the hill towards the small lane (sign posted Quaker meeting) walk in to the car park entrance on your first left and our entrance is signposted in the car park.

  • What days are you open for client appointments?

    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

  • Will the dressing area be private?

    Yes the dressing area is a private relaxing area, we have a cubicle for you to get changed in.

  • Is there parking available onsite?

    Unfortunately not, however a new public car park has opened at Saxon Court.  Entrance on Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB.  The tariff is £1 per hour.

  • Can I bring my child or friend with me to my appointment?

    You can bring a friend or support worker with you however we ask them to stay in our reception area while we focus on you and your styling and interview session.  If you want you can show them the finished outfit at the end.

    If you have a child we do have access to a crèche within our building which is bookable in advance.

  • How long is the appointment going to take?

    Each appointment at Smart Works lasts approximately 2 hours.

  • I do not need interview clothes can I just have the interview coaching session?

    In our experience the dressing session is a relaxing and confidence building start to your time with us and therefore it is part of the whole package even if you find that you don’t require the whole outfit.

  • Do I have to bring the clothes back?

    No the outfit is yours to keep.

  • What if I miss my appointment? Can I re-book?

    Yes although it is always helpful if you know you are not doing to make your appointment to let us know so that we can offer the slot to someone else.

    We understand that sometimes you cannot make an appointment, but our policy is two no shows and you are not able to book another.

  • What happens if I get the job?

    If you are successful in getting the job once you have seen us, you can book your Second Dressing appointment, where we will give you a small capsule wardrobe to help you with work wear up until your first payday.

    We also offer a short session with our interview coach to go through “how to behave at work in your first 3 months”

  • What happens if I do not get the job?

    If you are unsuccessful in getting the job once you have seen us, you can book your follow up Interview coaching session, where the interview coach will spend an hour with you talking through interview feedback, coaching.

  • Can I call on the day to make a last minute client booking?

    Yes and of course if we have a slot available we will be able to help.  However as we can only see give clients per day where possible it is always helpful to book in advance.

  • Can I refer someone who is on an apprenticeship scheme?

    Yes and you can also refer someone who is going on a work placement that is ending with an interview.

  • When can I drop off clothing donations?

    We can normally accept donations on weekdays between 9.30am and 4pm however it is always best to give us a ring beforehand on 0118 959 4245 to check.

  • How can I get involved with volunteering?

    We have many different volunteering opportunities so please do give us a ring on 0118 959 4245 or email us and we can give you some more information including our recruitment procedure.

  • Is there anything you do not take donation-wise?

    We take high quality women’s clothing and accessories that are both interview and work appropriate.  Ideally these should be clean and pressed.

    We don’t take: 

    • Linen or denim
    • Underwear
    • Used make-up/toiletries
    • Trainers
    • Men’s or children’s clothes

  • What happens to clothes that are donated and not appropriate for work?

    Anything that is not appropriate for our clients to use we donate to CIRDIC a local homeless charity.  Anything that is not work appropriate but could help to raise funds is put in to our annual fundraising Sale, where all proceeds go straight back in to Smart Works Reading.